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    Saturday, January 08, 2011

    A Salad Dinner, Handy for Those on Low Carb Eating Plans (but not essential!!!)

    This is a repost originally posted in 2006 thought it could do with a revamp.

    I didn’t really intend to have a low carb dinner it just happened…
    BUT the 3 salads I chose were delicious and filling.

    The first 2 antipasti salads were inspired by Mary Ann Esposito of the “Ciao Italia from Various parts of Italy” programmes on Food TV, this particular programme was embracing Southern Italy…apparently the Scapece in particular is always on the antipasti trolley in most restaurants. Mind you I understand why, it was sensational.

    But first lets start with the Tuna Salad. It has chick peas in it and I think I had too many for my taste so the quantities below have been adjusted.
    This will feed 6. So read on.

    Poached Tuna Salad.

    This probably sounds like a little dull name but there are so many lovely flavours you will fall asleep trying to read them in the title.

    500 gms fresh tuna cut into 2 cms steaks
    Poaching liquid water, slosh of wine, 2 heaped tsps chicken stock powder and 3 slices lemon

    So gently poach the tuna in the liquid for 5 minutes in covered pan, cool season with a little freshly ground black pepper and flake.

    1 can artichoke hearts drained and roughly chopped
    1 small can chick peas drained and washed well
    1 red onion peeled and thinly sliced
    1 med fennel bulb thinly sliced
    2 tbs fennel tops chopped
    Handful of parsley fine chopped
    2 tbs capers

    The Marinade
    Olive oil
    White balsamic vinegar white vinegar will suffice but the balsamic is so nice buy some for your pantry anyway
    Squeeze lemon juice

    The proportions for the marinade are 2/3 oil to 1/3 vinegar

    Sea salt & ground black pepper.

    The Garnish
    3 eggs hard boiled cut into quarters

    Now the easy bit - Combine all the ingredients, add the dressing check for seasoning add a little more salt if needed…it must be well seasoned. Marinate at least 2 hours. You can prepare this earlier in the day but take it out of the fridge at least an hour before serving.
    Pretty and tasty.

    Now for the Scapece (Marinated Flounder)
    This was the hit of the evening it is so simple you must try it.

    For quantities I will give the proportions, you can work out how much you need.

    1 flounder for 2 people Get your fishmonger to skin and filet the fish...too hard for home cooks
    Seasoned flour
    Vege oil for frying Rice Bran oil is excellent

    First flour the fish and fry quickly till golden,drain

    Breadcrumbs...break up a french loaf, toast in oven till dry and whiz up in your food processor. There will be too many but just freeze the excess in little bags. I will be doing other recipes which will incorporate them. Alway use good bread for crumbs.

    Now to prepare the Marinade you will need about 200 mls
    once again 2/3 oil to 1/3 vinegar

    Olive Oil
    Red wine vinegar
    2 cloves garlic finely chopped
    8-10 mint leaves sliced finely
    sea salt & black pepper

    To assemble

    Place cooked filets in shallow dish (Not metal doesn't go well with the vinegar) and cover with breadcrumbs just sprinkle them over. You can stack the fish in layers so you don't have to use a large dish.

    Dress each layer with marinade...Voila...done, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours, (once again bring out of fridge an hour before serving) room temperature food is so flavourful.

    Could this be easier, I don't think so and seriously it was absolutely superb.

    Now the meat course.
    I can't recall who inspired this dish I suspect Anthony Worrall Thompson on his show on Food TV.

    Warm Lamb and Aubergine Salad topped with Cherry Tomatoes

    Serve this quite quickly, the lamb can dry out a bit if left to get too cold...all lovely flavours yet again
    Quantities once again will be proportional.
    You can make this for 2 or for 12, anything is possible.

    Lamb steaks trimmed of excess fat chopped into chunks about 1.5 cms
    eggplant cut into same size as lamb and porbably the same amount

    Marinade for say 400 gms meat
    2 tsp cumin
    1 clove garlic finely chopped
    75 mls of olive oil
    Rub well into the meat with your hands

    Marinate for at least 30 mins

    Heat your roasting pan in a 220◦oven dash with 2-3 tablespoons of oil, Place the meat and eggplant in and pop all into oven for 30 minutes.

    Meanwhile make The Dressing.
    Olive oil enough to be 2/3 against the lime juice
    Juice of 2 limes and 2 tsps lime zest
    1 small red onion finely chopped
    2tbs each parsley, mint, and basil all chopped
    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Make sure you have plenty of seasoning in your dressing to lift those flavours.

    Just mix them all together and pour over the hot lamb

    Sprinkle with a punnet of cherry tomatoes cut in half and serve

    The blue dish I used is very pretty and great for large quantities but the photos took on a bit of blue hue so I apologise for this but don't let this put you off.